Postdoctoral Project: Algorithmic models of exploration behavior

Principal Investigators

Description of the research project

This project addresses one of the most fundamental questions associated with exploration behavior and the development of intelligent behavior in biological and artificial systems. When confronted with an unknown environment, what are the algorithmic rules underlying the development of intelligent (i.e. adaptable, general, cost effective and goal-directed)  behavior? In order to address this question, the postdoctoral researcher will develop and test algorithmic models of exploration behavior that (i) predict real world behavioral-experiential trajectories of newborn individuals (see below) and (ii) perform well when implemented in agents in virtual experiments simulating a broad range of conditions and tasks. Throughout, the postdoctoral researcher is expected to closely collaborate with a second postdoc, who focusses on mapping the exact behavioral-experiential trajectories of genetically identical fish individuals from day 1 of their life.

Application procedure

Applications should include: motivation letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts of records (for both BSc and MSc + doctoral degree if applicaple), copies of degree certificates (BSc, MSc), abstracts of Bachelor-, Master-thesis, e.g. doctoral thesis, list of publications and one selected manuscript (if applicable), two names of qualified persons who are willing to provide references, and any documents candidates feel may help us assess their competence.

To ensure equal opportunities between women and men, applications by women with the required qualifications are explicitly desired. Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored. Applications are also expressly welcomed from suitably qualified persons seeking to be entered as “gender diverse” in the public register. The HU Berlin values the diversity of its members and is committed to the goals of equal opportunities.


Applicants must hold (at the time of the project start) a PhD in Cognitive Science, Biology or related fields. Applicants should have strong quantitative skills and a firm background in several of the following topics:

  • Lab-based experiments with fish
  • Analysis of high-resolution tracking-data
  • Machine learning
  • Agent-based computer simulations

Excellent English skills both written and spoken are required.

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